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Environmental impact assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment is a formal process used to predict the environmental consequences (positive or negative) of a plan, policy, program, or project prior the implementation decision, it proposes measures to adjust impacts to acceptable levels or to investigate new technological solution. Although it can lead to difficult economic decisions, strong political and social commitments, but it protects environment which sounds basis for effective and sustainable development. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to proceed with a project. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as "the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the  biophysical , social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.  EIAs are unique in that they do not require adherence to a predetermined environmental outcome, but rather they require decision ­makers to account for environmental values in their decisions and to justify those decisions in light of detailed environmental studies and public comments on the potential environmental impacts. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be prepared on the basis of the existing background pollution levels vis-a-vis contributions of pollutants from the proposed plant. The EIA has to address some of the basic factors listed below:

  • Meteorology and air quality - Ambient levels of pollutants such as Sulphur Dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, carbonmonoxide, suspended particulate matters, should be determined at the center and at least 3 other locations on a radius of 10 km with 120 degrees angle between stations. Additional contribution of pollutants at the locations are required to be predicted after taking into account the emission rates of the pollutants from the stacks of the proposed plant, under different meteorological conditions prevailing in the area.
  • Hydrology and water quality
  • Site and its surroundings
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Details of the treatment and disposal of effluents(liquid, air and solid) and the methods of alternative uses
  • Transportation of raw material and details of material handling
  • Control equipment and measures proposed to be adopted